Spring Broke

Thoughts on spring break are up on WORLD Online. I should amend them, though. Craig is not feeling well, so we came home yesterday in the midst of chaos.

All those people who told me that dust would be everywhere – and they meant everywhere – they were right. Dust is everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

Dave the bookshelf guy has now become Dave the ceiling fixer guy. He told us we officially have more dust than any he has ever seen. It could be because someone in the past decided a good way to fix the ceiling would be to plaster it and then drywall it. So instead of one round of mess we have twice the fun.

That’s what this house has been every since we moved in. Twice the fun.

Probably not going to be able to paint this week because it will take three days for the ceiling project to wrap. And then Craig has to go back to school on Monday. We all do, for that matter. It should be fun doing school here. All the furniture is crammed into the dining room and completely covered in dust.

Anyone want to join us for dinner?

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For as long as I can remember, I have lived on a school-year calendar: The bulk of the work takes place September-May, with a long summer break from June to August, a two-week Christmas break in December, and a week off sometime in the spring.

Now that I’m in charge of the school-year calendar, I continue to fall into that same routine. Part of it is out of functionality—my husband, Craig, is a school teacher, so it makes sense for all of us to take time off when he does–but part of it is out of sheer necessity, as this homeschooing mama needs a break.

This week, as we are on said spring break, I took my girls to Oklahoma to visit my parents for a few days while Craig plays Bob the Builder on a renovation project at home. I brought nothing to do, and part of me is going insane having nothing to do. The other part of me, however, is slowly—very slowly—starting to relax a bit . . . and that’s what I need right now.

My problem is that I don’t rest when I should and can’t turn my brain off to get a decent night’s sleep. When I can’t sleep, I think of Psalm 127:2: “. . . for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Uh-oh.

Now don’t worry: I know better. I’m not sleeping not because God doesn’t love me; I’m not sleeping because I don’t know how to enjoy his good gift of rest. Perhaps if I were to more faithfully submit to God’s (and my husband’s) call to weekly Sabbaths, these longer breaks would be the blessings they’re meant to be instead of the burdens I sometimes feel they are.

When I’ve rested as I should, I’m usually ready to return to the work to which I’m called. I know that is true for this week, and I think it would be true for every week . . . if only I would rest as I should.

How about you? Do you take a proper weekly Sabbath rest? What’s your philosophy on taking breaks from the school-year calendar/mentality?

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Here is the Church and Here is the Steeple…(pt. 4)

This is the recounting of my 18 year journey toward the PCA. Here are parts 1, 2, and 3.

The reason we left Village 7 was simply not being able to plug into the community the church offered. It was very hard to during that season of life, and our lack of intentionality led to a disconnect with the church.

There was an Evangelical Free church right in our very neighborhood and we knew a lot of people who went there. We attended a couple of services and were thrilled to have people to talk to afterwards, people who already knew us. It wasn’t “work” to get to know the people there.┬áSometimes you are willing to sacrifice teaching for community, and this would be an example of our having done just that.

We plugged into the church more than any we ever had. Craig taught several rounds of Sunday School classes. I taught in the toddlers class. We joined the weekly homeschool co-op (our oldest was just in preschool, but it was something to do each week so we did it). We enrolled in Awanas, attended VBS, you name it, we were there. Daughter #4 was born while we were here, and we had her and #3 dedicated while at this church.

We stayed there longer than any other church we’d been at so far, but slowly I began a spiritual decline. The teaching lacked depth; the services were shallow. I started getting antsy. I felt like I was dying a slow painful spiritual death.

Craig didn’t feel this as much because his role at Glen Eyrie placed him under good teaching often through the conferences he was planning. And whereas he gets fed by feeding others, I just get drained by it.

We discussed our situation many times with one particular couple. They were on Campus Crusade staff and had Mizzou roots along with Craig, so there were several levels of commonality on which to hinge a friendship. The counsel I, in particular, received, though, was to stay in the community we’d developed there, but to seek better teaching from radio or internet preachers.┬áThis suggestion didn’t sit well with me. I have nothing against sermons on the internet, but I don’t particularly think they should be one’s dominant source of worship through the word.

I started crying a lot when thinking about going back. Craig began realizing my decline was serious. We discussed the options in-depth for several weeks and came to this conclusion: we couldn’t go there if I were to have any hope of spiritual sustainability. About two and a half years after we joined this church (and yes, we had joined this one), all we could think about (okay, all *I* could think about) was the teaching we’d left behind at Village 7. We decided it was time to go back.

We had a small problem, though. We committed ourselves to teaching the toddlers class as a couple throughout the whole summer, and we didn’t want to go back on our commitment. That month of August was one of the longest Augusts we’ve lived through (longer even than the one in which daughter #2 was born on the 28th!). We started going to the E-Free church in the mornings to teach the toddler class and then speeding across town back to V7 for the worship service.

When September rolled around, we knew this would be the last time we played with the churches of Colorado Springs. We sat through the membership class and took the membership vows that very month. It was one of the most relieving months of our whole church existence. We were in the process of wrestling through the infant baptism thing; I was wrestling with all five points of Calvinism. But it was where we were supposed to be and we knew it. It was good.

Then the very next month Craig took me out for coffee. While sipping my hot chocolate at Starbuck’s that morning he spilled the words I never in a million years expected to hear. He said he’d been thinking about starting seminary. In St. Louis. Next fall, but moving in the spring. What did I think?

What did I think? It was a question I would not fully be able to understand the answer to for another four years, but the part of me that seeks out and thrives on change was completely for it. Yes! Let’s do this! Let’s start something totally new! In St. Louis!

And then I remembered: we just joined the church of our dreams. What about that?

Well, St. Louis is Presbyterianland, after all. Surely we’ll find another one once we got there.

Click here for part 5.